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Went on a WWII living history cruise in Baltimore aboard the SS John W Brown

Lo and behold what did I see? None other than a nice Fisher. With all the history of that ship if this baby could only talk!

The garbage can and shopping cart make for a photo that will never win any awards bit they do give a good indication of size.

A cruise aboard that ship I'd highly recommend to any history buff.



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My Brother served as a founder on a sub tender right after the Korean war. The ship's foundry was next to the blacksmith shop as both had to have access to the cranes and such. Dennis had a album of pics of his ship. The smithy had an anvil that probably weighed near 1,000lbs. He didn't know the maker and I didn't think to ask there were a couple blacksmiths next to it though and it was visibly huge. 

Dennis said  their melters and forges were oil fired and the power hammer was steam. Said the power hammer made the entire ship ring like a bell when in use. When I asked if that didn't make their ship an easy target for submarines he said it was so loud it tended to white out sonar. They had to not use it if American subs were near.

I sure wish I had his album, I was maybe 10 and only remember some of the stories like dipping a wetted finger in a crucible of molten bronze to see if it was ready to pour. I didn't know enough to ask good questions and last time I talked with Dennis he was dieing of ALS.

Frosty The Lucky.

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3 hours ago, njanvilman said:

Fisher supplied anvils to the US Govt for about 100 years.  Was this on a US Navy ship?

Not exactly. Was a Liberty Ship. Armed merchant vessel with Navy armed guards aboard.  Was used not only for dry freight but also as a troop transport.

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A friend's father used to sail in one of those through the fifties and Ed used to travel with him on voyages when he wasn't at school. We happened to be in California (I was a demonstrator at the San Luis Obispo ABANA conference) when he had his 50th birthday and his wife booked the evening for a party in the Liberty ship that had been restored in the San Francisco docks there.

It was really funny wandering round with Ed and him showing me all the handholds and acrobatics he had learned as a kid to circumnavigate the engine room without putting his feet on the deck. Although it wasn't the same actual ship it was to the same design...he was right back in his element and he managed it aged 50!

I seem to remember him saying that they were first world war technology so that semi skilled farmworkers/engineers who had worked on steam engines could cope with the engines...all the current tech qualified guys were needed for the fighting ships.

I gathered they also made them incredibly quickly from a kit of parts on beaches all around the SF bay. No shipyard required.


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